IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Two-way migration between similar countries


  • Kreickemeier, Udo
  • Wrona, Jens


We develop a model to explain two-way migration of high-skilled individuals between countries that are similar in their economic characteristics. High-skilled migration is explained by a combination of two features: In both countries there is a continuum of workers with differing abilities, which are private knowledge, and the production technology gives incentives to firms for hiring workers of similar ability. In the presence on migration cost, high-skilled workers self-select into the group of migrants, thereby ensuring they are hired together with other high-skilled migrants. The laissez-faire equilibrium features too much migration, explained by a negative migration externality, and as a result all individuals are worse of than in autarky. We also show that for suffciently low levels of migration cost the optimal level of migration is strictly positive. In extensions to our basic model, we consider the presence of an internationally immobile factor and find that in this case the possibility of aggregate gains from migration in the laissez-faire equilibrium emerges. We also show that our basic results are robust with respect to small differences in countries' technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Kreickemeier, Udo & Wrona, Jens, 2011. "Two-way migration between similar countries," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 1, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuewef:1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fredrik Andersson & Mónica García-Pérez & John Haltiwanger & Kristin McCue & Seth Sanders, 2014. "Workplace Concentration of Immigrants," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(6), pages 2281-2306, December.
    2. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    3. Hendricks, Lutz, 2001. "The Economic Performance of Immigrants: A Theory of Assortative Matching," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(2), pages 417-449, May.
    4. Iranzo, Susana & Peri, Giovanni, 2009. "Migration and trade: Theory with an application to the Eastern-Western European integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-19, September.
    5. Mountford, Andrew, 1997. "Can a brain drain be good for growth in the source economy?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 287-303, August.
    6. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2012. "Globalization, Brain Drain, and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(3), pages 681-730, September.
    7. Trax, Michaela & Brunow, Stephan & Suedekum, Jens, 2015. "Cultural diversity and plant-level productivity," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 85-96.
    8. Giannetti, Mariassunta, 2003. "On the mechanics of migration decisions: skill complementarities and endogenous price differentials," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 329-349, August.
    9. Docquier,Frederic & Marfouk,Abdeslam, 2004. "Measuring the international mobility of skilled workers (1990-2000) : release 1.0," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3381, The World Bank.
    10. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 275-289, February.
    11. Spiros Bougheas & Douglas R. Nelson, 2012. "Skilled Worker Migration and Trade: Inequality and Welfare," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(2), pages 197-215, February.
    12. Tapan Biswas & Jolian McHardy, 2005. "Measuring the balance of intra-regional migration," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(19), pages 2221-2230.
    13. Schmitt, Nicolas & Soubeyran, Antoine, 2006. "A simple model of brain circulation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 296-309, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Dequiedt, Vianney & Zenou, Yves, 2013. "International migration, imperfect information, and brain drain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 62-78.
    2. Inga Heiland & Wilhelm Kohler, 2013. "Heterogeneous Workers, Trade, and Migration," CESifo Working Paper Series 4387, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Nikolaj Malchow-Møller & Jakob R. Munch & Jan Rose Skaksen, 2011. "Do Foreign Experts Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms?," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2011014, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
    4. Bonnet, Céline & Schain, Jan Philip, 2017. "An empirical analysis of mergers: Efficiency gains and impact on consumer prices," DICE Discussion Papers 244, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

    More about this item


    Migration; Skilled Workers; Positive Assortative Matching; Externalities;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:tuewef:1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.